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Chinua Achebe based his story, "Things Fall Apart," on the poem by William Butler Yeats called "The Second Coming." These two pieces of literature have many similarities

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Jennifer Moua November 10, 2011 Period 2 Things Fall Apart and the Second Coming Chinua Achebe based his story, "Things Fall Apart," on the poem by William Butler Yeats called "The Second Coming." These two pieces of literature have many similarities despite being two completely different pieces of literature. It is clearly shown that both authors wanted to illustrate great change between an old era to a new era with the changes taking place. Achebe begins his book with an excerpt to the beginning of the poem: ?Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world? (Yeats, lines 1-4). ...read more.


Additionally, he hints at the chaos that arises when a system collapses to the new changes that take place upon the Igbo culture. In Mbanta and Umuofia children played an even larger role as they were the future and centre therefore, as ?things [fell] apart?, ?the centre cannot hold? together. The clans depended on the sons to continue their ways as they grew older and stronger. Once the younger people began to convert, it paved the way for others to join and for the church to get stronger. "The falcon cannot hear the falconer" (Yeats, line 2). The quote represents the growing gap between the young generation and the old, traditional generations. Achebe incorporates a similar interpretation of the quote as he describes the situation of the younger members of Mbanta village that showed interest in Christianity and were the first to convert. ...read more.


Moreover, in the novel, Achebe hints, "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" (Yeats, lines 7-8) this also displays the weariness and acceptance of the new religion. The best, tribe members that held titles, were looming the idea of Christianity while the worst, the outcasts and cursed, were dedicated and passionate. The more the church gained conversions from the Igbo culture, the stronger it grew day by day. Yeats refers to the best as the good while the worst are the zealots that will rise. In conclusion, the poem and novel, though set in entirely different locations at different times, are the same story. The plot lines separate and come back together but they share the same general ideas and similar effects on the reader. ?Things Fall Apart? by Chinua Achebe puts the metaphors and imagery from "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats into action. ...read more.

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